Sr. Vice Commander Dave Rogers attended the Suffolk County Veterans Advisory Board where they discussed issues that effect veterans across Long Island.
Liver Fluke Update: Suffolk County Veterans Service Officer Tom Ronayne traveled to Washington DC to talk about expanding the testing for Liver Fluke. Since 14 out of 50 test came back positive the Veterans Services is asking for an additional 10,000 test to include areas that have a large population of Vietnam Veterans like Suffolk County, Florida and California.
The current problem is there is only one doctor that does the test, and it took over a year to get just the 50 tests done. Talked about trying to be rights to expand the test. They have also raised the price for each test as they hold the rights over them from 15.00 a test to 35.00 a test.
Another problem is Vietnam Veterans who have died of what is believed to be Liver Fluke related illnesses never had pathology done on their livers as a understanding of the effects.
Also don’t know if this is transferable to family members.
Suffolk County Veteran Services is also discussing with the VA if it would be wise to simply treat all Vietnam Veterans as testing would take so long and once the disease is active there is no cure.
VA Riverhead Clinic:
Suffolk County Veteran Services gave the VA Riverhead Clinic their space, allowing them to expand, this will include bringing addition services to the Riverhead Clinic including PT, OT. The Veteran Center in Babylon will also have an office in the Riverhead Clinic
Veterans Service Officers: There will be 3 new Service Officers as of March 26th with another 2 more eyed for the near future.
Suffolk County Veterans Services looks to build more programs that helps identify more of the veterans population and need in Suffolk County. Also looking for developing more alternatives to incarceration at precent level. Also identify veterans in jail and on way to jail. This is only for non-felonys.
Also looking for ways to help more veterans get enrolled in the VA, at current the VA only enrolls about 33% of current veterans.